STAFF and pupils are celebrating after Pontefract’s St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School was given top marks by education inspectors.
The Newgate school has received an “outstanding” grading in all four areas of its Ofsted report – achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, leadership and management and safety and behaviour – following an inspection in January.
Headteacher Darren Redfern, who joined the school in 2006, said: “In every single area the school achieved grade one which is the highest mark a school can achieve. The school overall was also a grade one, which is outstanding.
“This is the first time we have achieved grade ones in all areas, and it truly reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the community of St Joseph’s Pontefract, including staff, parents, governors, the parish priests and parishioners.
“I would, however, like to recognise just how wonderful our children are.
“We are so lucky to have such hard working, polite, delightful youngsters growing up around us. They are simply fantastic!”
The school’s 261 pupils, aged three to 11, were described in the report as “eager to learn and work very hard to achieve their targets.” Praise was also given to the school’s early learning years which provide pupils with “an excellent start.”
Ofsted inspectors marked the school as a grade two in its last report, published in May 2007, and made recommendations to improve pupils’ writing skills and work closely with children starting school in reception and nursery.
Mr Redfern said: “We have not made any major changes to the school, we have simply worked together as a community to provide the best standard of education possible for our children.
“I would also like to say that the support and teamwork from all the schools in the Pontefract Education Trust, and in the Wakefield partnership of Catholic schools, is so strong and has been a real help to us here at St Joseph’s.”